Nowadays, about every Internet scammer sells what he claims is 1:200 tongkat ali extract. Bullshit he talks, and shit he sells. Fake 1:200 is a cash cow because the world is populated by humans with the brains of ruminants.
If you are considering 1:200 tongkat ali extract, or any tongkat ali at all, Ask them what company is their supplier, contact the company, and check whether they have photographic proof of the collection of tongkat ali in the wild, as it is provided by Sumatra Pasak Bumi. Pasak bumi is the Indonesian name for tongkat ali. Don’t take “collected in Indonesian jungles” for an answer. They are not going to Indonesia themselves. Ask them what company is their supplier.
The percentage of active ingredients in tongkat ali root is very low.
States the renowned US Massachussets Institute of Technology in its description of a research program for the “quantitative measurement of the chemical or bioactive constituents of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali)”:
“The yield of the bioactive constituents is extremely low at less than 0.005%. Hence, they are not easily available for further studies and for commercial preparations. The plant also requires a longer time to produce the secondary bioactive metabolites and their biological activities may be derived from more than one of the constituents.“
The above means that the bioactive part of 1 kg of tongkat ali root is just 50 milligram (the twentieth part of 1 gram).
Please also remember the second part of the above MIT statement: “The plant also requires a longer time to produce the secondary bioactive metabolites and their biological activities may be derived from more than one of the constituents.“
This clearly means that only old plants have an effect.
In Indonesia (where tongkat ali is known as pasak bumi), young plants are not used for medicinal purposes. Only roots of an age of at least 10 years are considered effective. Wild tongkat ali is rare. But before the forest fires in Indonesia in the past few years, it was possible to find trees on single-day excursions. This is no longer the case. Only after long marches in the Indonesian jungle is it likely to not go home empty-handed.
In Northeastern Thailand, tongkat ali grows in some privately owned forest land, especially teakwood plantations.
Thais have a different attitude to nature. Nobody burns down forests in Thailand, and private forest owners know the value of tongkat ali.
In Malaysia, the tongkat ali shrub has now been declared a protected plant, as over-collection in the wild has almost eradicated it from the forests of that country.
The common recommendation in Indonesia is that 20 to 50 gram of root are cooked for about half an hour to release the active ingredient. One drinks the resulting tea and discards the cooked root.
If you can get hold of tongkat ali root, this is probably the most effective tongkat ali you can use.
Tongkat ali (or eurycoma longifolia by its Latin scientific name) is a small tree that grows in the jungles of Southeast Asia). As I have been told, the root of a 10 to 20 year old tree or shrub weighs 3 to 7 kg. If 50 gram is the effective dose, than the root of a hole tree only yields about 60 to 140 dosages.
The roots of the tongkat ali tree grow 1 to 2 meters straight into the ground. They have very few branches. It takes two men several hours to dig out a single root.
In order to understand the economics of tongkat ali, all of the above is important.
Here you have a plant of a certain scarcity, which is difficult to harvest, and which yields only a tiny percentage of active ingredients, which have not been standardized. And you have a plant which has a great reputation, backed by scientific studies.
And what you get is this: herbal supplement dealers on the Internet and with brick-and-mortar stores who sell tongkat ali with huge profit margins. How come?
Of course, what they sell in capsules or as pouches is just plain tongkat ali powder. Plain tongkat ali powder is very light, as it’s primarily cellulose. You can fit 300 mg the most into a standard supplement capsule.
If you are stupid enough to do so, you can buy a bottle of 30 or 60 capsules of tongkat ali powder for some 20 to 40 dollars. But do some simple arithmetic. 30 times 300 mg of tongkat ali powder in capsules are just 9 gram. So, for an effective single dosage, you’ll need about five-and-one-half bottles, or 165 capsules of 300 mg tongkat ali powder. If you buy the capsules cheaply, a single effective dosage of tongkat ali will cost you upwards of 100 US dollars.
Check the website of the US Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov.
In their search field, enter: “eurycoma”
This will take you to the page:
You can see that an application has been filed for tongkat ali powder only, and not for extract.
Tongkat ali isn’t a supplement for which a standard method of standardization would have been established. And under such circumstances, many variations of tongkat ali ingredients can be sold as extract.
The point is: you cannot buy tongkat ali or tongkat ali extract by looking at bottles and comparing prices. You can only buy it on the basis of personal experience with specific brands, or on the basis of trust. As you are shopping for active ingredients that haven’t been clearly determined, a product that is 20 times more expensive per gram may actually be the cheaper one.
If you want to examine whether a product likely is just root powder or extract indeed, weigh it. A specific volume of extract is much heavier than the same volume of root powder. Root powder is mostly cellulose, and cellulose is light in weight (and color).
Extract is much heavier.
Tongkat ali extract is also highly aquaphile. If you touch it with your plain fingers, it will instantly form a sticky smear with traces of sweat from your skin, just as a cheap brand of instant coffee would.
Unfortunately, as the sale of health supplements is so little regulated, and because consumers clearly tend to buy the cheapest products, traders cheat. They do on the Internet and in the brick-and-mortar world. They promise you a good deal, when in fact, they sell you an inferior product.
Consumers look at labels only to see what is in the bottle, not how much of it. They don’t look at the mg amounts, because they are not aware what therapeutic amounts are.
This is not specific to tongkat ali.
Take, for example, arginine: therapeutic dosages are in the range of 5 to 10 gram, on an empty stomach, and even such amounts are not felt. If you are sold capsules that contain 100 mg of arginine, you are taken for a ride. 100 mg of arginine is nothing. A spoonful of many kinds of food contains more arginine, and of course is just as effective or ineffective as a capsule with 100 mg of arginine in it.
Or take multivitamins with minerals. They pack 50 different nutrients into a single capsule, to impress the potential buyer. But it’s not the list of names that you swallow. You ingest certain amounts of ingredients, including, for example, 10 mg of calcium, and 10 mg of potassium. I have to laugh. Half a glass of milk has much more calcium and potassium than those inferior capsules.
As what you buy in capsules all too often are diminutive amounts of an herbal that, in proper dosage, does have its medicinal value, you mustn’t be surprised if you feel nothing, or a placebo effect at most.
A proper dosage of tongkat ali has an effect that can be felt. A proper dosage is about 50 gram of root powder or chipped root, cooked as a tea, or an extract, which is the equivalent of this.
500 mg root powder is not a proper dosage. Not even 10 times 500 mg. And 10 capsules with 300 mg of a 1:2 extract is also not a proper dosage. You won’t feel anything from either.
So, what do I feel from a proper dosage of tongkat ali? A certain hotheadedness, improved bowel movements (only the first few times). I also feel energized and stimulated, but the tongkat ali does not interfere with sleep. If the tongkat ali capsules you bought make you sleepless, than they have been stretched, most probably with yohimbe.
However, the above are just side effects, not the effects I am after. Tongkat ali clearly improves libido, which is why I take it. Why I need it.
Tongkat ali improves libido, but not in the same way as dopaminergics do. Tongkat ali feels more natural than dopaminergics, and when I have taken tongkat ali for some time, I just wonder whether I’m not just perfectly healthy, sex-wise.
Then I stop the tongkat ali for a few days, and I know that I’m not. My sex drive will just be gone.
When I’m back on tongkat ali, I have it again: this teeth-clenching desire to tight-grip a female body, and to take her rough. Tongkat ali is like a libido mill in the back of my head. And when I have intercourse on tongkat ali, I am like a grinder. I move through intercourse like a gearwheel, not fast, but steady, and with a crushing certainty that the gearwheel will not stop before I have had my orgasm.
Yes, tongkat ali makes sex more egoistic. It makes me a very manly man. And a perfect lover.
1 Shalender Bhasin, M.D., Thomas W. Storer, Ph.D., Nancy Berman, Ph.D., Carlos Callegari, M.D., Brenda Clevenger, B.A., Jeffrey Phillips, M.D., Thomas J. Bunnell, B.A., Ray Tricker, Ph.D., Aida Shirazi, R.Ph., and Richard Casaburi, Ph.D., M.D. N Engl J Med 1996; 335:1-7July 4, 1996, The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199607043350101
2 M. I. B. M. Tambi1,2, M. K. Imran2 andR. R. Henkel3, Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism?, Andrologia Volume 44, Issue Supplement s1, pages 226-230, May 2012
3 Ralf R. Henkel1,*, Ruxiang Wang, Susan H. Bassett3, Tao Chen4, Na Liu2, Ying Zhu4 andMohd Ismail Tambi, Tongkat Ali as a Potential Herbal Supplement for Physically Active Male and Female Seniorsâ€”A Pilot Study, Phytotherapy Research Volume 28, Issue 4, pages 544-550, April 2014
4 Rajeev Bhat, Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): A review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance, Fitoterapia Volume 81, Issue 7, October 2010, Pages 669-679
5 Sarah E. Edwards, Ines da Costa Rocha, Elizabeth M. Williamson, Michael Heinrich, Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products, Pages displayed by permission of John Wiley & Sons. Copyright. Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products